Surgery information and support

Surgery information and support

Statement 5.4

Patients with IBD being considered for surgery should be provided with information in a format and language they can easily understand to support shared decision-making and informed consent, and offered psychological support.

Why is it important?

Many patients with IBD find it hard to understand and accept the idea of surgery. It’s a prospect that can make them feel very anxious. That’s why clear information is so important. People facing surgery need to know what will happen, including benefits and risks, possible alternatives and what it will mean afterwards.

Ideally, this information should be available in a variety of formats: written, audio-visual and web-based, and in language the patient can understand. Consent for surgery should include a discussion about the options available, and the most important considerations for the patient, for example, any implications for fertility.

Patients who are considering pouch surgery or an ileostomy should have the opportunity to talk with patients who have had this operation. It’s also important to offer psychological support at this time as self-esteem and body image can be affected.

I wish I had been better prepared when I had emergency surgery. I woke up with lots of tubes and drains that I wasn’t expecting and I found this very upsetting.

Respondent to IBD Standards survey